The Best Things in Mac Are Free

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Gina Trapani writes on LifeHacker:

One of the drawbacks of switching from Windows to Mac is the smaller selection of free software available for OS X. Sure there’s tons of fantastic Mac software out there, but most of it isn’t free – unless you know where to look, that is.

If she were coming from the Linux world to the Mac, I’d understand her. Third party software for Linux is much freer than on the Mac as a general rule, but Windows? That’s completely contrary to my experience.

Faint Praise: Mac OS X is Better than Vista

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

John C. Welch has a nice article in Information Week in which he compares Mac OS X to Vista, and Vista comes out much the loser. This is no great surprise, especially since he focuses on UI issues. This is like comparing a Toyota Camry to a car built by UNM engineering students for the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers competition. Sure, it’s cool that the undergrads can build a car in a couple of semesters, but you wouldn’t put the student car in your driveway to commute to work.

However, what struck me was how many of Welch’s examples of how things were easier on Mac OS X, were easier only by comparison to the even poorer Vista. Many of his examples are actions that non-geeks are not able to accomplish on Mac OS X. They are harder than they need to be be, and harder than they should be. For example,

Mounting a Server at User Login

Monday, August 21st, 2006

In the good old days of Mac OS 6, 7, 8, and 9, it was possible to automatically mount network drives at startup. This no longer seems to work in Mac OS X. There’s no longer a little box you can check when mounting a network drive to say, “items will be opened at system startup time”. You can still do this, but it takes a little more work. Here’s how:

iPhoto Tip 1: Batch Change

Monday, January 30th, 2006

Have you ever taken 173 pictures of your dog and wanted to quickly set the title of each one to “Spot playing”? That is, have you ever wanted to add the same title to several pictures at once in iPhoto? You can shift-click and command-click to select multiple pictures but as soon as you do that the Title field disappears so you can’t change any titles. 🙁

It is possible to do this though. However the option is a little hidden. (more…)

Intel Macs as Servers

Friday, January 27th, 2006

I’ve been thinking about getting an Intel Mac to replace the old Linux box that serves this site. However, a lot of software hasn’t been ported yet, and Rosetta emulation is slow. How much server relevant software is yet native?